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Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ – Where do I start?
At a recent small business networking event, I was asked a common question about social media. What social media platform should my business be using?
Whilst I set off on my usual spiel about firstly understanding how Social Media fits into your overall strategy, it was not long before the conversation was hijacked by an avid Facebook fan and devotee. Deprived of my punch line, I am compelled to finish my rant online.
It’s true, Facebook in Australia is big. And for many businesses, the lure of 800 million active users is more than enough to sign their business up for a fan page and start trawling their friend list for ‘likes’. But the question remains – is it right for your business? Is Facebook going to generate leads and create meaningful conversations with your existing and potential clients?
To answer this, we need to go back a step and talk about who your ideal client is.
If you haven’t already, you need to spend some quality time thinking about exactly who you want to be doing business with. Who are your most profitable customer segments? Who are the best fit with your company, product or ethos? The more focused you are, the more you can find out about them. The more you know, the more you understand, and the more you can communicate meaningfully.
The question of “are they online” has now been replaced with “where do they hang out online”?
Your social media strategy should be driven by your ideal client’s online habits. Which means if they are on Facebook, then so should you.
#1 Biggest Mistake of Small Business Social Media Strategy is trying to be everywhere.
This is the same as trying to be everything to everyone. You know how that ends up – you run around chasing everyone, trying to be on top of everything at once and don’t really make an impression on anyone. This is not only exhausting, but completely counter-productive to any end result. People just don’t respond to business or individuals only intent on pumping their version into the world. Think of that person who dominates the conversation at a party, we all exchanged apologetic looks with the person cornered by them and make a mental note to play dead if they turn their barrrage on us.
Don’t ever forget you are in social media to be social.
This means creating meaningful connections with those in your network. Just like real-life, this involves a balance of speaking and listening. Sure, ‘tweet’ or ‘post’ about what is going on in your world, but don’t forget to interact. Join the conversation – like, comment, share, retweet, recommend and above all, be social.
Claire Sowden is The Big Button Pusher at eClaire9Design, a small business marketing agency engaged in creating meaningful conversations with service professionals.